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Asmuyao school positioning itself as official central alternative to DOE

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Could a new alternative school be on the horizon for Guam? One organization hopes so, going before the Guam Education Board Tuesday in an effort to gain approval for funding from the Guam Department of Education.

It already caters to over 100 students every year, but now Asmuyao Community School is hoping to become the official central alternative school for the Guam Department of Education.

"There is a need for a centrally located school that can assist families of at-risk students who cannot afford Asmuyao's financial obligation," stated school director Rand Coffman, who made his case before the GEB.  "Asmuyao proposes that the Guam Department of Education prepares an RFP requesting for a WASC accredited school with DOE certified teachers to become the central alternative school. A purchase order would be prepared allowing Asmuyao to prepare invoices as previously done for special education students with Asmuyao."

The accredited school has been in operation since 1972 and employs DOE-certified teachers in subjects ranging from math and science to music, language and special education. It also has an existing solar-powered building in Hagatna. However creating the central alternative school would come at a cost to DOE.

"The budget that we propose per student for once school year is $2,856 per student," Coffman continued, adding, "If we had 100 students as how JP Torres is now currently enrolled with, we would ask for $285,600 for School Year 2017-2018."

We should note, GDOE already has one alternative school - JP Torres Success Academy - in Agat. Superintendent Jon Fernandez said he's happy to review the proposal noting there is a need to provide alternative learning opportunities to students in the central and northern villages.

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